Dani Pedrosa wrapped-up his third world title in thrilling style at Phillip Island on Sunday when the Movistar Honda rider beat Repsol Aprilia's Sebastian Porto on the run to the chequered flag.

Had Pedrosa not won the race then he would have been forced to wait until this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix for the chance to clinch his second successive 250cc World Championship. Instead, he not only took victory, but also claimed Honda's 600th GP win.

Here the 20-year-old, who will move up to MotoGP with Honda next season, talks about his shock race win, reflects on his latest championship winning season, reveals the full extent of his shoulder injury, explains how it felt to win a landmark race for Honda and much more...

Q:
Dani, the only way you could win the title in Australia was for Casey Stoner to score 1-point or less and for you to win the race. Did you really think that you could win it here?

Dani Pedrosa:
We've always trusted in our chances, although many others did not. Not many people expected it, only us, and that says a lot about what is happening around us. Many things have been said these days, both in the media and my rivals as well. But we focussed on working and not doing strange things. When you focus the results are there. And it was here, on this track, and it's been a great satisfaction.

I haven't been scared at any time, although after Qatar I really thought that the championship was getting more and more complicated, because the (shoulder injury) recovery was being very slow. I hadn't improved in three weeks and I didn't know how long it would take.

Then the practice sessions in Australia were rather average, but on Sunday morning I woke up with my mind made up to win the race. I knew that everything would be different compared with Friday or Saturday, and so it has been.

Q:
How would you describe your race at Phillip Island?

Dani Pedrosa:
It was an intelligent and conservative race.

Q:
What was your plan?

Dani Pedrosa:
First of all to make a good start and then assess the situation. Stoner crashed at an early stage and De Angelis hit against him. Although he managed to avoid crashing, the bike broke, so there were two rivals less. Lorenzo, Porto and I, who were lapping further back, saw it and were able to avoid them.

Porto was lapping very fast, so I decided to follow him and we opened a considerable gap leaving the rest behind. From then on I began to study him. I didn't try anything and I think it became a rather calm race for both of us. I stayed behind him because he had a better pace than me.

Porto was very fast in the corners, but my bike was working very well too, so I thought about getting in his slipstream at the end of the race. If I managed to overtake him, it would be great, but if I didn't, second wouldn't have been bad either; there was no need to take any unnecessary risks.

Scared of not taking the slipstream well, I made a small mistake in the last corner. I knew that if I would stick to him exiting the corner I could overtake him, but I stuck too much and had to get off his slipstream earlier than expected. It was the first time of the race I crossed the finish line out of the slipstream and I noticed that the bike wasn't as fast as I thought.

Fortunately and with the inertia I had I was able to overtake him by a few thousandths of a second.

Q:
During the last laps, your team put "OK" on your pit board, meaning that second place would be fine. What was your reaction to that?

Dani Pedrosa:
I understood. It was logical, because it's better to score 20-points than loosing them all. It's a very demanding circuit with the tyres and they suffer a lot at the end of the race. The team saw me skidding a couple of times, so they thought it would be good to show me the "OK" board. They didn't want me to take any risk and I didn't, but I tried with the slipstream and it went well.

Q:
What was your first thought after crossing the finish line?

Dani Pedrosa:
Well... Oh my God, I can't believe it! It's Australia with all the memories it brings back to me, and personally the most difficult circuit of the whole championship. I crossed the finish line and I wasn't conscious about the fact that I had won the title until the first corner.

It was then where I started to cry out of happiness and excitement. It's normal after so much suffering on the bike, in the garage, without being able to ride well these last weeks...

Q:
Now the title has been decided, you've revealed that your shoulder injury is actually a fracture, why the secrecy?

Dani Pedrosa:
I crashed in Japan because the bike seized. I hit my right shoulder and it hurt a lot. We thought that I had a muscle injury and when I got examined they said that there was nothing broken, but the pain was huge. I still don't know how I was able to finish that race.

When we arrived in Malaysia we went immediately to do a magnetic resonance scanning that showed that there was a fracture in the humerus head, fortunately without displacement. That was the reason for so much pain. Only a few people knew about it: my doctors in Barcelona and only one member of the team. We didn't want to scare the others.

We also didn't say anything just in case they wouldn't let us ride, and also to avoid the other riders making use of the situation. More than the pain, the problem was that I wasn't able to ride well, because I wasn't able to sit comfortably on the bike. I had to be in a very rigid position, very centred, I had to find a new set-up...

I couldn't make the bike turn well and if I tried to push harder it skidded in the front. I crashed in Malaysia and the race in Qatar wasn't good either, I almost crashed more than once although I managed to finish fourth.

Q:
Pressure is inevitable when you're fighting for the title. Have you felt under more pressure than ever before in these last few races?

Dani Pedrosa:
The circumstances were difficult and I had to withstand the pressure of not being able to be in the front. I gave in to it and that's why I crashed in Malaysia, but I learned the lesson and in Qatar, seeing that I wasn't able to do it either, I kept on the bike the best I could.

I lost a lot of points and that's when Stoner got more confidence. At Phillip Island, they were all riding faster than me. It's a circuit I've never liked much, I've always had trouble here, but I was very focussed in the race and I knew how to play my cards.

Q:
You had a frightening accident in 2003 at Phillip Island on the 125 and you had never been on the podium here. Is it a good feeling to win the title here? Will it change your attitude towards the circuit?

Dani Pedrosa:
It obviously feels much better. Moreover, there are two races left and we got rid of the pressure of fighting for the title, because it seemed that we were loosing control. I'm sure that now I will look kindlier at Phillip Island, and let's hope that we'll get better results here from now on.

Q:
As well as the race victory and championship title, you also claimed the 600th GP victory for Honda - number 500 having been taken by Valentino Rossi in 2001 - what does the achievement mean to you?

Dani Pedrosa:
It has obviously made me very happy as well, but if it wouldn't have been for all the other riders who took the previous victories I wouldn't have taken number 600. So I think that it just happened by chance, it's not really a merit. I'm really happy for Honda, because I've always been a Honda rider.

Q:
Has this year been more difficult than previous years?

Dani Pedrosa:
This year I started as the reigning champion. Many riders started saying many things, but for us, the only rider that really worried us was Porto. He's a rider who can make things really difficult if he's in good shape. The others may be fast, but they don't really make the difference.

Porto has been having ups and downs and we've been opening a gap despite those two bad races, the one in Portugal due to the tyres and the one in China due to the water. The rest have all been quite good, even Donington including rain.

Then came Japan and we started to loose points. But his year we had everything clear from the start, despite all that had been said since the winter tests. We have kept ourselves on our line throughout the year, without saying anything and looking for results on the track, and we got them.

Q:
What would be your assessment of 2005?

Dani Pedrosa:
Despite the problems mentioned at some of the overseas races, I think it's been a very good year. We've achieved great results in a hard-fought season. We've had to fight hard in every race to get on the podium, there were many riders able to get there - even though we managed to clinch seven victories, as many as last year.

Sure, we could have made some better races, especially at Motegi, but the others could have done as well. Deciding the championship in Australia has also been a great relief.

Q:
Who would you like to dedicate this title to?

Dani Pedrosa:
To the team, my people and the fans who also deserve it.

Q:
With the title already in your pocket, have you begun to think about next year in MotoGP?

Dani Pedrosa:
To tell you the truth I'm not thinking about next year yet. There are two races left and I've been so concentrated these last weeks that I haven't had time to think about it.